President-elect Barack Obama is set to name two top congressional aides as his eyes and ears in the House and Senate, respectively.
Dan Turton, the staff director on the House Rules Committee who also worked for former Democratic House Leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri, will be Obama's House liaison, while Shawn Maher, a top aide to Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) will serve as the top liaison to the Senate, a source tells Politico.
The announcement is expected later today.
Both Turton and Maher will report directly to Phil Schiliro, Obama's head of legislative affairs.
Turton already has a seat at the Democratic leadership table as the staff director on Rules. He gets high marks from Democrats and Republicans alike. Maher was deeply involved with Dodd's work on the Wall Street bailout, so he'll bring significant economic policy knowledge to the job.
These legislative liaisons will work for the White House, but spend much of their time quite literally walking the hallways of Congress, lingering outside of votes and lobbying members of Congress in person to back the administration on important legislation. They will also feed intelligence back to the administration about where things stand on Capitol Hill.